Crowds gather across Turkey to commemorate 20th anniversary of Sivas massacre
ISTANBUL / ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
Around 10,000 people joined a commemoration event in Istanbul's Asian district of Kadıköy. DHA photoThousands have gathered across Turkey to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sivas massacre in which 35 people, including many Alevi artists and intellectuals, were killed in an arson attack on the Madımak Hotel.
Around 10,000 people joined a demonstration in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district on the Asian shore. The names of the victims were publicly read, while demonstrators demanded that the hotel in Sivas is made into a memorial.
A group that has been gathering daily at Yoğurtçu Park to hold discussion forums following the heavy-handed evacuation of Gezi Park also attended the demonstration.
In Ankara, the relatives of Ethem Sarısülük, an Alevi demonstrator recently killed during the Gezi Park protests, also participated in a commemoration event.
Other commemorations were held in several cities across Turkey including İzmir, Eskişehir, Mersin and Tunceli.
The circumstances surrounding the pogrom have never completely been uncovered and an Ankara court dropped the case on the killings in March 2012, ruling that the charges against the suspects had exceeded the statute of limitations. The Madımak Hotel has since become a symbol of the discrimination faced by the Alevi community, who have repeatedly asked the state to turn the building into a museum.